FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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Ingredients: What Consumers Want?

Food additives are listed on the ingredient lists of packaged food products. There are many that have been used for decades. If they were used before 1958 when the Food Additives Amendment was passed, they are considered prior-sanctioned substances since they were already in common use. Another group of substances were described as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) . Both these categories were excluded from the food additive regulation process.  Just because an additive is on either of these lists doesn’t mean it’s safe. if new evidence emerges that suggests it is unsafe, the FDA may take action to remove the substance from food products. Some ingredients are not welcomed by consumers recently. To see the most common ones:

CLICK HERE.


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CSPI 2017 Xtreme Eating Awards

 

The numbers are in –  Center for Science in the Public Interest just came out with its stunning array of  calories in foods at some of the nation’s restaurant chains.  Don’t forget to check out the saturated fat and sodium, too.  It just gets more astonishing every year or more appropriately “worse.”  When will we ever see calorie counts on the menus?

CLICK HERE.


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The Mac and Cheese Dilemma ?

Just recently, there have been many scary articles in the food news about chemicals called phthalates in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, a favorite (according to the ads) of our kids.

Marion Nestle gives us the facts and suggests some reasonable and simple advice about how to avoid this alleged problem.

Read about it HERE.


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The Complexities of Food Sensitivities

Most people when confronted with a negative reaction to certain foods simply say “I’m allergic to” (fill in the blank). Self-diagnoses and treatments are common and result in the development of unnecessary restrictive diets and disordered eating.

The following article aptly attempts to wade through  the confusion and complexities of food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities in order to increase some understanding of what to do about these poorly defined and understood afflictions. Even many physicians fail to differentiate the confusion surrounding the problems.  We now have food labels that support a long list of “NO’s) – gluten, wheat, lactose, soy, nuts, high fructose corn syrup, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, etc. etc.  No wonder people are challenged even when going to the supermarket.

Food allergies can be life-threatening, so it is important to identify which food(s) are the culprits. Keeping a food and symptom diary or beginning an elimination diet with oral challenges should not be attempted without professional help like your physician, physician assistant, or registered dietitan/nutritionist (RDN) who specializes in food intolerances.

The article is a long read, but if you think you may have any food sensitivity, it may be worth the time spent before any self diagnosis or treatment is undertaken. Search this blogsite for information on food alleriges, intolerances, FODMAPs and gluten or wheat intolerance disorders.

CLICK HERE.


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Can Common Spices Act as Antiseptics?

 

A couple of interesting articles HERE. The first one provides an alternative to giving farm animals antibiotics. Wonder if there are any studies to back it up?? The second article  that  follows on the site exposes a sham blood test @$490 that claims to detect all your food intolerances (if you have any). Again, no research, but this one “quacks.” They call it Pinnertest – sound familiar? Buyer beware, for sure.

Check out a previous post HERE.


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The Lessons from Okinawa

Okinawan Market

Some of my favorite ways to study the effects of diets and lifestyles on health  is to take an objective look at the healthiest cultures on the planet. Although these studies are observational, they study real people living in a real environment. They provide us with invaluable information about how health and longevity are affected by the culture in which we live.  Granted, your diet is only part of the total equation.  And it must be emphasized that these healthy patterns are based on traditional habits of these cultures. When Western-type diets invade these populations, time and time again, their positive health statistics change generally for the worst. Please watch the video and then go out and buy some sweet potatoes.

CLICK HERE.